Google Invests $200 Million in Texas Spinning Spur Wind Farm

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The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Google has made a $200 million investment in the Spinning Spur Wind Project 70-turbine wind farm located 35 miles from Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle built by EDF Renewable Energy.

Spinning Spur latest Google alternative energy investment

The Spinning Spur Wind Project was completed in December and consists of 70 wind turbines each capable of generating 2.3 megawatts of power, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The investment is part of Google's $1 billion portfolio of alternative energy holdings that include the Atlanta Wind Connection, an offshore wind project that is envisioned to stretch from New Jersey to Virginia and generate 7,000 megawatts, and a residential solar energy company called SolarCity.

The Spinning Spur Wind Project a new start

EDF states on its website that Spinning Spur began construction in June and finished in December. EDF acquired the development assets of the project from Cielo Wind Power in January, 2012. The company has a 15-year contract to sell power generated by the wind farm to to Southwestern Public Service Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy.

EDF involved in a number of wind and solar energy projects

EDF is building a number of alternative energy projects based on wind and solar power. Along with Spinning Spur, the company owns the Bobcat Bluff Wind Project located near Wichita Falls, Texas, which like Spinning Spur was completed in December. Bobcat Bluff consists of 100 1.5-megawatt wind turbines. Power generated from the project is being sold into the ERCOT wholesale electric market.

Wind power tax credit a factor in the construction of wind farms

While the Texas Tribune noted that the Texas Panhandle, despite its remoteness, is considered ideal for wind farms due to its powerful winds, a likely reason that both the Spinning Spur and Bobcat Bluff wind projects were rushed to completion before the beginning of 2013 was uncertainty over the wind energy tax credit. The tax credit was due to expire at the end of 2012 and its renewal was uncertain thanks to the fiscal cliff standoff. However as part of the fiscal cliff deal, USA Today reports, the wind energy tax credit was renewed for one more year. The tax credit subsidies power generated by wind farms at 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 10 years of operation. The credit accounts for 30 percent of the value of wind power projects like Spinning Spur and Bobcat Bluff.

Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.

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